Zimbabwe opens fire on UK
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has launched a scathing attack on the United Kingdom (UK) over
alleged interference in the country’s internal affairs.
This comes after Zimbabwe was debated in the British House of Lords on Tuesday where members argued that they have not seen sufficient progress towards economic and political reforms in the country.
They also claimed corruption was escalating in the country and cited the arrest on Monday of Zimbabwe Miners Federation president Henrietta Rushwaya as one of the many cases of graft.
Rushwaya was nabbed at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport for allegedly attempting to smuggle 6kg of gold out of the country to Dubai.
However, in a scathing response Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo, warned the UK against interfering in Zimbabwe’s affairs.
“It is more than 40 years ago that the Union Flag was lowered and yet, it seems, our friends in London still regard Zimbabwe as part of their extended family – requiring constant supervision, correction and even punishment
when, in their own assessment, we stray from the path they and others have chosen for us.”
“Naturally, we are disappointed at the overally negative tone and tenor of the debate and by the uninformed quality of much of the commentary or observation made by those who spoke. The deliberate attempt to besmirch His
Excellency the President, by way of innuendo, with the corruption and smuggling case involving
Henrietta Rushwaya, is a new low, even for the noble Lords,” Moyo said. Moyo said allegations of human rights abuses and failure to act on corruption were unsubstantiated.
“We note, as deeply unfortunate, the implied threat of more sanctions from the UK and the assurance given to
the Lords that such measures are currently under active consideration in London. One would have thought that, by now, a lesson would have been learned. Zimbabwe is a sovereign state. We chart our own course based on our own
national interests. We co-operate with our regional partners and indeed with all partners on the basis
of mutual respect and understanding,” said Moyo.
He added that Zimbabwe is ready to continue re-engaging the UK.
“Genuine friends and partners do not prescribe or dictate: they guide, advise and assist. “From government’s perspective, the UK is a respected and important trade, development and investment partner. Notwithstanding our troubled history, the lingering legacy of British colonial rule and the occasional tension within the relationship today, Zimbabwe is determined to forge a productive, mutually-beneficial partnership with the UK. Our assumption, to date, is that that desire is fully reciprocated by the United Kingdom,” he said.